New Home Sales Rise Despite Higher Mortgage Rates 

(CN) – New home sales rose 6.1 percent in February, the fastest pace since July, despite higher mortgage rates.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that month-over-month new home sales rose at a seasonally adjusted rate of 592,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2017 was $296,200. The average sales price was $390,400.

Economist say consistent job growth and an improving economy appear to have set the state for a robust home-buying season.

In response, builders across the nation have ramped up the construction of new homes, but the demand for homes continues to outpace the construction gains.

There were 266,000 new homes for sale last month, the most since July 2009, and up nearly 10 percent from February last year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate home loans this week was 4.23 percent.

That represents a slight decline from the prior week, but it’s significantly higher than the 3.65 percent average last year.

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